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Help with pruning Rhododendron

16 years ago

I had just posted this question onto an old thread, but realize it might be better to start a new thread, so pardon the repetition.

I have a Rhododendron that is growing new leaves at the ends of each branch(which i realize is normal) but the lower parts of the branches have few to no leaves and it looks rather dismal.(i have been feeding it with Osmocote(sp?) every few months, so i would think it would be healthier) I would like to prune it back so that the lower branches will fill in with new growth, but am afraid it would mean cutting off the few leaves on it, and am not sure how to proceed. Also, this year it should be blooming about now and i notice there are no buds at all. Just the little clump of leaves without the bud in the middle. I'm thinking we may have pruned it last year at the wrong time and cut off all the potential flowers for this year. With that in mind, my question is, if i prune back most of the leaves now, will it fill in quickly with new growth that will produce the buds for next year?, or will i ruin the chance of flowering for next year as well? And, at what point on each branch should i cut? I read something that said 'above the rosette', but not sure what that means.

Thanks for any and all help


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